2. Instrumental Internationalism

  1. Brett Christophers

Published Online: 14 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118295496.ch2

Banking Across Boundaries: Placing Finance in Capitalism

Banking Across Boundaries: Placing Finance in Capitalism

How to Cite

Christophers, B. (2013) Instrumental Internationalism, in Banking Across Boundaries: Placing Finance in Capitalism, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118295496.ch2

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JAN 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 MAR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444338294

Online ISBN: 9781118295496



  • cross-border finance;
  • economic theory;
  • financial globalization;
  • globalized banking;
  • industrial age


The chapter on instrumental internationalism analyzes the macro-spatiality of banking and finance, and is divided into three sections. The first section tells a chronological story of this spatiality, beginning with the medieval period characterized by primarily metal monies to the modern heyday of industrial capitalism in northern Europe and North America. Throughout, the emphasis is on charting in basic terms the nature and extent of geopolitical boundary crossing by financial flows and institutional operations. The second section captures the main factors that explain the crossings that occurred in these periods. The final section turns to the question of economic theory. It demonstrates that in contradistinction to the late-twentieth-century incarnation of globalized banking and finance, earlier examples of open and integrated cross-border financial systems not only lacked explicit grounding in supportive conceptual economic frameworks, but also scarcely required legitimating authority in the first place.